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Contemporary R&B Singer-Songwriter

Contemporary R&B singer and songwriter Kehlani Parrish (she/they) studied ballet and modern dance at the Oakland School for the Arts. An injury prompted a move to OSA's music department, where she blossomed as a vocalist. During eighth grade, she joined Poplyfe, a band that competed on "America's Got Talent" during the program's sixth season. Following an affable performance of Travie McCoy's "Billionaire," judge Piers Morgan noted that he thought Kehlani, the frontperson, could be successful without the band. While Kehlani brushed the notion aside, she eventually went solo and presented herself as a slightly younger, more down-to-earth alternative to contemporary R&B artists like Jhené Aiko.

Her first release, the eight-track "Cloud19," was released in 2014, and a pair of its songs registered on Billboard's Twitter Emerging Artists chart. A lengthier set, "You Should Be Here," followed in 2015 with guest appearances from BJ the Chicago Kid and Chance the Rapper. Shortly after its release, major label Atlantic announced that it had signed Kehlani to a recording contract. "You Should Be Here" was later nominated for a Grammy in the category of Best Urban Contemporary Album. Notably, Kehlani was also featured on Zayn's single, "Wrong," and their song "Gangsta" was featured on the Suicide Squad movie soundtrack, both in 2016. They also served as an opening act on Demi Lovato's Tell Me You Love Me World Tour in 2018 and were featured on hits like Charlie Puth's single, "Done for Me," and Cardi B's single "Ring."

Kehlani's first proper full-length, SweetSexySavage, arrived on Atlantic in early 2017, peaking at number three on the Billboard 200. They continued their musical collaborations, teaming up with DJ Zedd on the single "Good Thing" and with Teyana Taylor on the single "Morning," both in 2019. They were also featured on Justin Bieber's promotional single, "Get Me," in 2020. Kehlani released their second studio studio album, "It Was Good Until It Wasn't," on May 8, 2020. It debuted at number two on the US Billboard 200. Their third studio album, "Blue Water Road," was released on April 29, 2022. Kehlani identifies as queer, lesbian, and pansexual, and has openly expressed solidarity with Palestine during the Israel-Hamas war in 2023.


30 Under 30 2016: Music - Forbes
Music. Blending pop, rap, rock and electronic music, with a shot of ... Musician. more. Nick Jonas, 23. Musician. more. Kehlani, 20. Musician. more. Jahan Yousaf ...

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